Friday, 13 November 2009

Little sharp things...

Smith and I, changing lightbulbs.  Specifically, I bought them, he got up on a chair and put them in place, I reminded him to do so before the sun went down.

Then Smith says 'I think there might be something in my finger.'

Looked at his right index finger under the bright lights we'd just installed, and it was obvious there was something there, but it was tiny.  Tried to grasp it with my fingernails - definitely something hard there so not skin, but I couldn't grasp it.  Grabbed a pair of tweezers - still feeling the hard object, but no luck grasping it.

Now what?  Dig it out?  Me, who'd never dug anything out of skin before?  With no local anaesthetic?  Okay, well, I had pulled a 2cm "splinter" out of a man's foot before.  But that wasn't exactly hard.  This ... well.

The alternative?  No medical centres open.  Take him to the ED?   .... Err ... no.

No local anaesthetic in the house.  No sterile needles in the house - well, not your normal hollow ones anyway.  But I did have a sterile suture with a needle on the end of it, and it wasn't expired yet.  I was supposed to use it to practise suturing at some point (on a pork chop or something).  That, however, was years ago, and since then it was just clutter.  Might as well break it open.  There was supposedly a needle holder to go with it, but given the amount of clutter in my room, it was not to be found.

Slippery little J-curve needle had to be held one plane with my tweezers and supported in the plane with fingers.  The rest was no-touch technique and a little bit of scraping.

Smith, at one point, said 'That needle has some sharpness to it."  I took that to mean it hurt.  It turned out to mean that he actually didn't feel a thing.

End result:

That's it next to my fingernail.

A closer view:

The clear part was embedded right in the middle of the pad of his index finger.  The pink part is where the skin subsequently leaked a tiny bit of blood around it, I guess.

Will we wear gloves when changing light bulbs in future?

... Nah.

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the angel Jean